…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
It ought to be “no tax-woman”, because Mademoiselle Christine Lagarde pays no tax whatsoever on her $500 000 p.a. remuneration, but I think you know how I mean it. In May last year, in an interview with the Guardian (no surprise there in her selection of a newspaper), she complained about “all these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.” According to The New Yorker, the Greek economy shrunk by 16%, “the sharpest decline in any developed country since the Great Depression. Previously comfortable middle-class Greeks are rummaging through garbage cans for food – often after nightfall, when the neighbours can’t see.” Though The New Yorker is thoroughly leftist and thus an unreliable magazine, on this they could be right – the middle class has little to barter with. Well done, Christine!
Perhaps those Greeks should rummage through her garbage cans, as I am certain that her leftovers are superior to those of ordinary people. No sooner written than made obsolete by developments. Police raided home of IMF boss Christine Lagarde ; so if the gendarmerie has done the job properly, they checked her garbage bins too. The case involves Mr Bernard Tapie, a convicted criminal and a minister under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand (I do not know in what order). “Ms Lagarde herself, now 57, has defended the controversial decision to send the Tapie case to arbitration, describing it as “the best solution at the time.” Perhaps she was also young and naïve. In 2007 the arbiters, appointed by Ms Lagarde, gave Mr Tapie $500 million of the French taxpayers’ money. I guess it did not hurt her a bit – she-of-the-tax-exempt-status.
Yes, it easy to deal with other people’s money, whether it is their superannuation, as now in Australia, taxpayers’ money everywhere and bank deposits in Cyprus. I feel that the attempt to confiscate 10% of bank deposits is a trial balloon. Cyprus was picked up because it is relatively small and some depositors can be demonised, in a similar fashion as those non-tax-paying Greeks. In Cyprus, it is the Russian Mafia’s money; and who likes Russians or mafia? Confiscate!
“The European Union and Germany in particular, have long argued that they should not have to ask their own taxpayers to contribute to bailing out a country when it was Russian oligarchs who would benefit. Nearly a third of the total amount of deposits in Cyprus’ banks is believed to be held by Russians”.
The main problem I see that whatever is the outcome (some decision is to be made on Monday, but that is just a bluff) the public at large is trained to accept the principle of confiscation by a supranational body. If the rate happens to be reduced to, say, 6%, all the experts will praise the sensible compromise which saved the banks. Of course, I do not know who owns the Cyprus banks. It would not be just Ms Lagarde.
The minor problem I have is the money. I am quite prepared to accept that the money Russians deposited in Cyprus banks are the proceeds of criminal activity and governmental corruption. I doubt that babushkas have their pensions transferred offshore. But – Russians are putting money in, investing so to speak. They don’t as far as I am aware, take anything significant out, like minerals, agricultural produce etc. Isn’t that supposed to be good? What would our Treasure, sorry, Treasurer Swan do to get those deposits? Rent out his grandmother and his daughter, if his record of integrity were any indication. So why is it supposed to be good and fair to punish foreign investors? If moral or even criminal law standards were to be used, Australia could confiscate at least a half of the Communist Chinese money here.
I mentioned Mademoiselle Lagarde as a symbol only. Were she a he, I would do the same. I am sure that all those institutions dispensing your money, supporting their mates in crime and advising austerity are staffed with parasites of all three sexes who would not dream of austerity for themselves, or God forbid, of paying taxes That is for the masses. If Ms Lagarde can’t stand the heat of those personal and semi-personal attacks, I would advise her to get back to the kitchen. I am sure that when it comes to cooking something good exclusively for herself, she is right up there with Michelle Obama, Julia Gillard and other venal hypocrites.
Otherwise, there is no need to feel sorry for Greeks or Cypriots, nor for that matter, for the Russian ruling class. Russia may yet come to the rescue of Cyprus banks and in the process may acquire an unsinkable aircraft carrier in Mediterranean.
We will be soon feeling sorry for ourselves. The imagination of The Beatles will be surpassed by our rulers, of any political colour, as they will struggle to preserve their privileges for a little bit longer.